Games on Demand delays all about “choice”, says Microsoft

Friday, 27th April 2012 01:09 GMT By Brenna Hillier

In a somewhat confusing message, Microsoft has defended its Games on Demand release schedule as a way to give consumers more options.

“It comes down to choice. The customer has the choice of going to retail on day one if they really want to buy a particular title,” Xbox Live product manager Pav Bhardwaj told MCV.

“Or to wait a couple of months and buy it full price from the Xbox Live marketplace.”

Although gamers have long railed against Games on Demand’s slow release schedule, particularly as general retail has often cut prices considerably by the time digital copies are available, Bhardwaj seems adamant the system is working.

“It’s a successful part of our business, we’re very pleased with the growth and it continues to do really well,” he said.

“Clearly there’s an audience out there who are happy to purchase a product at full ERP six or so months after [its retail release].”

Sony has aptly demonstrated that there’s an audience for day-and-date digital releases, too, but Microsoft isn’t having any of it.

“We don’t do Games on Demand on day one, we focus on boxed retail for day one. That’s where our focus has always been and will remain that way for the foreseeable future,” Bhardwaj maintained.

“We release a game roughly six months after it arrives at retail at full ERP. That’s our model and we’ll be sticking to that. It’s a successful model, so why change something you don’t need to?”

Microsoft has been consistent in its refusal to close the Games on Demand gap since the service first launched, which is probably quite a comfort to retailers.



  1. Charlie Sheen

    i always buy my games off GOD such an amazing service, keep up the great work!

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dark

    360 was the first to do games on demand and but sony is beating them at it
    i was suprised when i saw battlefield 3 in the psn store and mass effect on launch day.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    Classic Microsoft move.

    Inconveniencing the customer, for the customers convenience.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. ejams

    @3 Exactly.”The customers love waiting 6 months AND paying more than they could anywhere else.” Why? Because it’s supposedly “working”, and because why not, seems to be his argument. The only people that actually buy games off there full price are the casuals who don’t know that they could get it cheaper in a store, and sooner.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    None of that made any sense.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Freek

    They seem to roll out that line for just about anything; delays, price, bugs, availibility, drm, added fees.

    “It’s about choice”.

    It covers everything.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. manamana

    I never understood people buying old, overpriced games from GOD. And because it seems successful for Microsoft, they probably go day1 digital download with their next gen.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. TheBlackHole


    “The only people that actually buy games off there full price are the casuals who don’t know that they could get it cheaper in a store, and sooner.”

    That couldn’t make less sense if you tried. So you’re saying that the ‘casuals’, those people who ask their mum and dads to buy games for them, don’t know how to shop in a GAME store, but they know how to use a cumbersome digital distribution service embedded into their console? Erm… no. Just, no.

    The people who buy the games at full price six months post launch are those who HAVE MONEY. Believe it or not, not everybody is always on the look out for a bargain. Hell, some of us don’t even have to think about money. We just have enough to buy things we want, even if it costs a few quid more than it would in store. It’s also convenience. I would pay £10 extra for ME3 if it meant I didn’t have to swap discs a dozen times during my playthrough. It makes for a better, cleaner experience.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. StolenGlory

    I would like to point to one, shining example however in which Games on Demand has come through for me as a customer.

    Tales of Vesperia.

    The game had all but dried up completely with people charging from between £45 and £60 for it on Ebay. It was totally crazy and as someone who had always coveted the game but never got round to buying it on release day because of one reason or another, the £19.99 pricepoint that MS set for it on GoD was great fucking news indeed.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. manamana

    ^ that makes sense.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Ge0force

    #8: you could have bought the pc or ps3 version, both don’t require disc swapping :)

    Ontopic: it’s truly unbelievable how Microsoft keeps succeeding in making people pay more for what’s cheaper or even free elsewhere.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Cobra951

    It’s their power over the sheeple. “Baaa!” So many will do as they’re told by a big corporation like MS without even thinking. They’re happily led to financial slaughter.

    Not only do I want GoD to be prompt, I also *expect* releases to be massively cheaper than physical copies, because, you know, they are eliminating the cost of media, physical transportation and brick-and-mortar profits entirely. Distribution is much, much cheaper. The consumer also gets less out of the deal, even if launching a downloaded game is more convenient than popping in a disc to play. No box, no manual (skimpy though it may be) and no separate copy of the game to persist independently from the system hardware.

    My cutoff is $30. I will not even look at a GoD release with a pricetag higher than that.

    #12 3 years ago

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